Tito (Powell) forgets his promise to use jewels that weren't his to pay a ransom. He marries Romola (Lillian Gish) and rises to position of chief magistrate. He becomes very unpopular with the people by his constant bad conduct. He sells Romola's father's sacred books, enters into a mock marriage with Tessa (Dorothy Gish) and condemns to death a champion of the people (Grimwood). This all round bad character finally gets what's coming to him in a great finish.
MGM brought George Eliot's classic work to the screen with an all-star cast including Lillian Gish as Romola, Dorothy Gish as Tessa, William Powell as Tito, and Ronald Colman as Carlo. This lush romance sets sail when pirates take control of the boat Tito Melema and his father, Calvo, are aboard. Calvo gives the young man the family jewels and Tito swims to shore, promising to return with help. But instead of returning to aid his father, he stays in Florence, where he's diverted by the lovely daughters of the blind scholar Bardo Bardi. The old man takes a liking to Tito and allows him to marry one of his girls while the other, Romola, romances the dashing and loyal Carlo Bucellini. Tito quickly becomes a corrupt politician whose foibles lead him to betray the people of Florence, but what he doesn't realize is that his father has survived and is out for his blood. Great photography and medieval costumes and sets make director Henry King's silent historical adventure a real treat.
Shot on location in Florence, Italy.
Released theatrically in New York City December 1, 1924.
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